US Soldier Kills Afghan Ally in Base Shooting

Rising Distrust as Killings Grow

by Jason Ditz, February 05, 2012

Reflecting the rising distrust between US occupation forces and their Afghan allies, a US soldier has shot and killed a private guard at a Sar-e Pol Province military base in what officials are calling an “unfortunate misunderstanding.

The US soldier is said to have killed the man thinking that the 22-year-old Afghan guard was about to attack him. NATO declined comment but the US said it was “aware” of the incident and investigations are apparently underway.

The guard was one of several contractors hired to guard the exterior of the base. He asked to be let inside the base for some reason, starting an argument with the US soldier, which ended in the shooting. Afghan police say the US soldier, who was not named, “thought he was acting in self defense.”

Between Taliban infiltrators launching attacks in the uniforms of allied security forces and incidents like these, the distrust between Afghan troops and NATO occupation forces appears to be increasing, and could lead to more itchy trigger fingers on both sides.

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